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1990: Briton shot by Iraqis

A British man attempting to escape from Iraqi-occupied Kuwait has been shot by Iraqi soldiers.

Douglas Croskery from Whitley Bay on Tyneside was in a three-car convoy heading for Saudi Arabia.

News of the shooting reached the Foreign Office in London earlier on Sunday.

Foreign Office minister William Waldegrave said: "We do not know whether he was killed but we fear he may have been.

"This shows yet again that the situation is extremely dangerous and the Iraqis are continuing to behave in a ruthless and barbarous way."

The Foreign Office say if Mr Croskery's death is confirmed they will treat it as murder.

Britain has already protested to the Iraqi ambassador in London and the authorities in Baghdad.


"People should keep their heads down and stay where they are"

William Waldegrave, Foreign Office minister

Since the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq and the outbreak of war dozens of the country's 4,000-strong British community have managed to escape to neighbouring countries.

However, Foreign Office advice to Britons in Kuwait is to stay put and William Waldegrave again urged Britons not to risk their lives.

"People should keep their heads down and stay where they are," he said.

Mr Croskery, 49, and his companions are believed to have been attempting to get to Saudi Arabia across a 200-mile (322km) stretch of desert connecting Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

But Iraqi forces have now set up several checkpoints along the route.

Mr Croskery is reported to have been shot three times by an Iraqi patrol just short of the Saudi border.

Others travelling with him are said to have been unhurt and to have got across the border.

Britain says the Iraqi invasion force are in clear breach of the Geneva Convention which obliges occupying forces to ensure the safety of the foreign nationals.

In Context
Douglas Croskery had been working in Kuwait for only a few weeks at the time of the Iraqi invasion in 1990.

He was shot as he tried to help three Kuwaiti families who were fleeing with him after their cars had got bogged down in the desert sand.

Iraq blocked early attempts by Britain to recover Mr Croskery's body.

Foreign Office minister William Waldegrave said it "added barbarism to the original crime".

The refusal of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to withdraw his troops from Kuwait led to the UN-backed Operation Desert Storm in January 1991.

It would end in February with the defeat of the Iraqis and their subsequent forced departure from Kuwait.


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